Govt fears waste of milk & vegetables as enough local produce don’t reach market | India News

NEW DELHI: The government is concerned over some reports of milk and vegetable going waste in certain parts of the country as local supplies are not being lifted. It’s also concerned about the shortage of labourers and less number of mandis operating across states.
Sources said these issues were flagged at a meeting of a high powered secretaries group on Saturday, which discussed the ways out to tide over such problems. They added that the Prime Minister’s Office has reportedly received certain reports of wastage of milk and vegetables.
TOI has learnt that the issue of at least 10 states where less than 30% of the mandis are operational also came up during the discussion.
Recently, office bearers of Asia’s largest vegetable mandi, Azadpur, had shared a video of truckloads of vegetables standing there and sharp drop in buyers.
“If mandis won’t operate, farmers produce won’t get access to market and so, either they will dump their produce or go for distress selling in their localities,” said an official.
Sources said the group of secretaries was told that not a single mandi is operating in Assam, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya.
Though milk supply across states is more than 90%, distribution has been hit in Punjab, Maharashtra, Andhra and Bihar because of close down of packaging material manufacturing units.
On Thursday, the home ministry allowed manufacturing units for packaging material to operate during the lockdown period.
The group was also informed that it’s taking more than 24 hours to unload the railway wagons that are carrying essential items to states including , West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh due to shortage of labourers.
TOI has learnt that some of the ministers would interact with Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon through video conference to share their assessment of the situation.

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